Berkeley-based wine merchant Kermit Lynch has been selling and distributing his favorite Italian and French wines for over 40 years. He’s known for favoring wines that express their “terroir”– a French term referring to the natural environment in which a wine is produced — including factors like soil, geography and climate. Lynch joins us to discuss his career and his influential book, “Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer’s Tour of France,” which is being re-released this month in a 25th anniversary edition.

Kermit Lynch, owner of Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant in Berkeley, and author of "Adventures on the Wine Route: A Wine Buyer's Tour of France"

  • Monsieur Oblong

    How does Mr Lynch reconcile his comments about both terroir and his joy about his favorite raw oyster companion wine with his negative comments about wines from (say) Croatia? Is is not valid to say that Croatian wines have their own qualities that appeal to the locals and the local cuisine?
    Or is the problem that the Croatians are trying to recreate a French style wine and simply doing so poorly, rather than creating something that is truly their own wine?

    • Christina Wodtke

      He wasn’t negative about Croatia, he said he’d never tasted it. He said He focuses on France and Italy because that’s hard enough. There is more than enough complexity just in those two countries.

      • Monsieur Oblong

        Thank you. I was in the shower and half-heard his reply but I could tell that he was being dismissive about them. I didn’t realize he said he hadn’t sampled them.

  • WineCountryGeographi

    I think there is a lot of misinformation in The New York Times article which was NOT written by their regular wine writer Eric Asimov but a local feature writer who doesn’t really know enough about terroir.

    In fact, Napa’s wines started out as wines of terroir – they just got colonized by giant corporations who are not into wines of terroir.

    I am finishing up three apps and a book on Biodynamic┬« wines and those are ALL about terroir. There are 275 of these wines made in the U.S. – a third have even achieved scores of 90 or more points (for those who pay attention to scores).

    The real issue is affordable wines, that are made from organic or Biodynamic vineyards. The wine industry does not particularly like to discuss this topic.

    France has 10% of its vineyards certified organic. California has less than 3 percent. This is where we should look to the French. We have a climate much better for growing organically (no summer rains) and should be asking our wine industry to step up organic (and certification). We don’t need the pesticides they use – 30,000 pounds of Roundup every year in Napa, plus the horror show of pesticides that is the Central Valley and Monterey County.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    About the boxed wine, if wine absorbs tastes thru terroir, then can it not absorb the tastes of plastic lined or foil lined boxes? Give me a glass bottle anyday.

  • gail haspert

    Hi! Great show. One of the listeners who was a winemaker called in and said he was from some place that sounded like Starwood winery that used some of the same Carneros grapes as Darioush. Can you tell me the name?

  • Arun Ouneklap

    I am a restaurant owner and a wine lover, to me Mr. Lynch is my Yoda. So much knowledge with so much humility.

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